‘Zombieland: Double Tap’ is so simple it’s satisfying
“Zombieland: Double Tap” wisely capitalizes on elements that audiences have consumed about zombies: they have a herd mentality, they mutate, and they are formidable in large numbers. The core team of Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), Wichita (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) experiences some intersectional turmoil that leads to the injection of new characters. This ultimately results in a coordinated effort that earns the collective team ZKOTY--Zombie Kill of The Year.
The plot is SSIS (so simple it’s satisfying). The story moves along quickly and is fast-paced without any wasteful downtime for character development or over-explanation of the plan. Fans will predict the ending but not the quirky elements that lead to that moment.
Little Rock meets a guy and runs off with him after being overprotectively micromanaged by the core team. The team assumes that she can’t take care of herself and runs off to find her but their search leads them to a cloistered eco-friendly, pacifist haven that is packed to the gills with young, anti-gun, peace-lovers.
New Character: Zoey Deutch as Madison – Deutch is an airy, happy-go-lucky bobblehead whose position as comic relief is memorably hilarious. Her one-line and one-word delivery is expertly matched with impeccable timing. She’s damn funny and brings every scene to a joyous climax. Audiences may cringe in anticipation of annoyance from her character but her unfolding loveable nature leaves viewers wanting more of her brand of zany, unassuming humor.
New Character: Rosario Dawson as Nevada – Tallahassee meets his match in veteran action-fabulista Rosario Dawson who shines in what can only be hailed as the most spectacular, grungiest, monster truck vs. Zombie motherflippin moment in any zombie movie. Dawson makes the most of her screen time and slays the moment for any woman who can drive a truck “till the transmission bleeds.”
As the team’s unofficial and wannabe-infallible leader plus father-figure, Tallahassee is bestowed the honor of sole character development recipient in the film. Determined to keep the dismembered family together he begins to analyze his purpose in Zombieland and the team’s life. This leads to misguided introspection into his alleged Native American heritage but we will allow it for the sake of the Wild West ending.
Eisenberg smoothly saunters back into the role that he developed in the first film as the awkward nerd turned confident zombie killer. His performance is so seamless that it’s almost unremarkable. And that is the mark of a great actor.
Filled with spitfire wit and snappy sarcasm, Stone remains a fan favorite as she stomps into place as the demanding, motivating factor that moves the plot forward ... by accident.
Breslin falls flat as the pawn in this zombieverse plot. Her thinly wrapped coming-of-age saga is the catalyst for the storyline. However, Breslin has minimal screen time and lacks fusion with the other characters.
Luke Wilson and Thomas Middleditch
Albuquerque and Flagstaff are two new characters who provide a fun parallel to Tallahassee and Columbus. They don’t last long but they bring a few moments of raucous action.
Though it’s the first time in any film that I longed for The “Mac Daddy” Matthew McConaughey to grace the screen and deliver a dose of Cajun-fried swagger to zombie brawlin’.
Fans of the First Film: 4 out of 5 Zombies
Fans of any Creature Feature: 5 out of 5 Living Dead
Fans Who No Longer Fear the Walking Dead: 3 out of 5 Undead
Tip: Stay for the movie’s mid-credits and end-credits to enjoy a Bill Murray cameo with Al Roker.